We rise by lifting others: Core one seminars blanket campus with random acts of kindness
Have you noticed random post-it notes in hallways, on doors or on bathroom mirrors reminding you how amazing you are? Did you happen to find an egg on campus with candy and a message of kindness on the inside? When you were walking across campus, did you see positive messages in chalk to let you know that you are awesome?
One class was challenged this entire year, and another section participated in the spring semester, to lift up our campus with random acts of kindness. College can be very stressful and overwhelming. It is easy to get focused on homework, tests, quizzes, work, family, sports, music, friends, and other obligations that it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. These random acts of kindness were brainstormed, designed, and done all by amazing Grand View students that genuinely value other students.
The classes were responsible with small random acts of kindness projects such as the notes you may have come across on campus or the pay it forward cards that seemed to last for weeks. Their professor Jennifer Ulie-Wells, "I was shocked by how long their small tokens of kindness lasted and how far they reached. I saw notes and pay it forward cards in places I wasn't expecting for weeks. They are amazing groups of young people that are so inspirational. I am so proud to know each of them."
Each group was also responsible for larger projects and the results were amazing. One group intended to raise enough money to make ten blankets for Blank Children's Hospital. Instead they raised over $500 and were able to donate 27 blankets. One student mowed yards and washed cars raising over $100 to also donate to Blank Children's Hospital. Over $320 were raised by another group for Grand View's Dance Marathon. Some people raised money by selling cookies to give for a three year old boy with Doose Syndrome, while others collected games and played with children at Orchard Place.
Several groups did not raise money at all instead they collected cards to donate to a Hospice Center in memory of an uncle. Another student spent a day in her hometown talking to high school students about going to college, and a young woman worked to increase awareness about the importance of clean and healthy water. Yet another group collected countless letters to send to an orphanage in Sierra Leone in Africa.
In the spring semester section, students worked to make blankets for the Furry Friends Refuge. A young woman saw the importance in having hygiene products for the homeless, so she sold cookies to raise money to purchase feminine and personal hygiene products before delivering them to the homeless throughout town. Another group did a fundraiser for Blessings in Backpacks to provide food for children.
One group was empowered and collected children's books and toys to Children's Cancer Connection, while another collected games to donate to the YESS Shelter in Des Moines.
The impact was exceptional. People responded with tears, filled hearts, gratitude, and appreciation. We never know what battle others are waging, so finding the time for the simple acts of kindness can be life changing. Congratulations to such exceptional groups of young people that created time and space to lift up those around them.